Miami Flashback: Rafael Nadal sprints past Roger Federer

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Miami Flashback: Rafael Nadal sprints past Roger Federer
Miami Flashback: Rafael Nadal sprints past Roger Federer (Provided by Tennis World USA)

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the main protagonists of the title chase in Miami 2011. Nadal and Federer met in the semi-final, and the Spaniard scored a commanding 6-3, 6-2 triumph in 79 minutes. Thus, Rafa celebrated his 15th victory in 23 encounters against Roger, with two legends battling in Florida for the first time since that famous 2005 final.

They did not offer the crowd what they wanted to see this time, with Rafa marching into the second straight Masters 1000 final after losing to Djokovic in Indian Wells two weeks earlier. Landing 76% of the first serve in, the Spaniard produced a masterclass performance on serve and return.

He dropped ten points in eight service games and fended off both break chances to mount the pressure on the other side. Federer was not ready to challenge Nadal that day. The Swiss struggled on the first and second serve and gave it away four times from five opportunities Nadal created, never looking like a real contender.

Roger had more winners and 35 unforced errors on his tally, unable to find the range and move Rafa from his comfort zone. The Spaniard had the advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes and more extended exchanges, spreading his rival over the baseline and setting the Novak Djokovic title clash.

Rafael Nadal toppled Roger Federer in straight sets to reach the 2011 Miami final.

The Swiss made a great start and landed a volley winner in the encounter's first game for a hold at 15. Nadal responded with a forehand crosscourt winner in game two, bringing it home at love.

The first break came in game three when Roger netted a straightforward backhand, falling behind and allowing Rafa to forge a 3-1 advantage with a forehand down the line winner a few minutes later. The Spaniard held at love in game six to remain in front.

He produced another comfortable hold at 4-3 with a service winner and wrapped up the set with the second break for 6-3 after 33 minutes. Nadal fended off a break chance at the beginning of the second set with a lucky net cord.

He broke Federer's serve in the next game when the Swiss made another forehand mistake that drifted him further away from a positive result. Carried by this momentum, the Spaniard held at love with two forehand winners in the third game and missed a chance to move 4-0 up before making another easy hold for a 4-1 advantage.

Serving at 2-5, Federer placed another loose forehand into the net to suffer the fourth break and propel his great rival over the finish line. Rafa clinched a one-sided triumph over Roger, like the one at the same stadium seven years earlier when he was 17.

Rafael Nadal Roger Federer